Social Demons

PM identifies evil spirits that threaten Barbados

Barbados is under threat from a number of “social demons” that must be exorcized, otherwise they could bring chaos and misery to the country, according to Prime Minister Freundel Stuart.

Addressing a national consultation on society at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre this morning, Stuart identified alienation, frustration, insecurity and disillusionment as “threats” from which the island needed urgent protection in order to maintain faith in the future.

“If faith in the future is lost, chaos will ensue and we will become a collection of miserable people,” he told the gathering of Cabinet ministers, Opposition parliamentarian Cynthia Forde, church leaders and representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

He noted that the family, the Church and the school, which are the institutions that have to help tackle these dangers, were themselves under tremendous pressure.

The Prime Minister said there was an increasing number of people in Barbados felt alienated from what was going on in society because they were not being reached. Their response, he said, was to “opt out”.

“We have not been communicating with them effectively enough to get them to buy into what it is we are selling. This is not only a problem for our young people, because there are some older people [as well . However]. . . there are people who have just had to opt out because they don’t feel an essential part of anything that is going on around them,” the Government leader said, adding that this group could not be counted on “to rise up and defend something of which they do not feel a part”.

Stuart was quick to point out that this sense of alienation was not necessarily due to unemployment or the lack of material gain, noting that there were people living in some of the most prosperous western societies who could care less about what was happening around them.

In addition to alienation, there was the issue of frustration to contend with, the Prime Minister said, stressing that people were having difficulty getting simple things done in Barbados, such as getting past the maze of answering machines when calling places like Flow, commercial banks and Government departments.

He said many of these people had dreams, expectations and a vision of their own future, but seemed to be running into stumbling blocks whenever they attempted to turn these dreams into reality.

“When last have you tried to call Flow? I’m not going to exculpate Government departments either. When last have you tried to call one of them? I tried. That quest to hear an authentic human voice on the other line, somebody who can connect with you and make you feel a part of something going on around Barbados, is being steadily lost. We have bought into the technological revolution,” the Prime Minister said.

Stuart told his audience that as alienation and frustration take root, the demon of physical insecurity comes to
the fore.

“Angry people take up a gun and shoot as many people as they can because they don’t feel a part of what is going on, or they feel a part, but do not feel that they are getting a fair break,” he said, referring to recent mass killings in the United States and Europe to emphasize his point. Stuart said psychological and emotional insecurity was also a serious issue facing Barbadians, where the pace of the technological age had become so rapid that life felt like a game of chance.

Prime Minister Stuart said that the fourth demon – disillusionment – would be the result of unresolved alienation, frustration and insecurity.

He said people were losing faith and trust in major institutions and cited the collapse of CLICO, Trade Confirmers and the Bank of Commerce and Credit International (BCCI) in Barbados. “The feeling of insecurity that so many people are experiencing undermines the coherence that should be holding society together. If when I look in your face, I can’t trust you and when you look in mine you can’t trust me either; if I can’t tell myself there are certain things that you will never do; or when you look in my face you can’t say to yourself, if there is one thing, ‘I know there are certain things the Prime Minister will never do . . .’ [then] we have a problem. That will lead to insecurity; and there is a lot of that around,” he added.

The Prime Minister said too many church leaders in Barbados were “falling down around us”, and this has caused people to wonder, who could be trusted.

He warned that it was bad enough when people lost faith in the present through disillusionment, but it was even worse when dreams are shattered and faith in the future is lost.

“Because, if we ever get to the stage where people lose their capacity to dream, to believe that things may be rough now, but tomorrow promises to be better; if faith in the future is lost, then chaos will ensue, society will implode and we will be of a collection of men and women; just a collection of miserable people.”

The Prime Minister said the solution to these social ills lies with the family, the Church,  civil society and schools.

3 Responses to Social Demons

  1. Zeus July 26, 2016 at 8:25 am

    Mr Webster if he does the decent thing according to you and call the election and he wins again what would be your response secondly if he looses will the youth around here will suddenly want work will the guns disappear will tourist suddenly start spending money …please tell me I am dying to hear of this new Barbados flush with milk and honey

  2. Phil July 26, 2016 at 9:41 am

    Let’s face it. There is absolute truth in what Fruendel said. our churches are big money making institutions. That’s their focus. They don’t pay taxes, they receive a $100,000.00 gratuity allowance every year, they demand tithes from their members and a lot of them are quite wealthy. Some of them raise over $250,000. per month in offerings, tithes, services rendered which includes funerals, weddings, christenings, special events, cake sales, and the list can go on. The preachers do not practice what they preach. Especially the male Evangelistical and Penticostical homings, target wives who are having marital problems, invite them in a most warm and welcoming method, a special skill they acquire, get them to spill their guts, evaluate their weakness, gullibility, blow their problems far out of proportion, entrap their minds and complete trust, and in most cases, have sexual relationships with them. One of them once admitted to me that he has to deal with seven women, and he had to formulate a schedule system to keep them all happy. Yes we do have the Benny Hynn, James Baker, Jimmy Swaggert, and Jim Jones types right here in Barbados. Oh and they gamble heavily too. They secretly play Lotto with extensive purchases of tickets. Now to politics. Irrespective of whatever anyone says, Barbados needs a third or even fourth party. Our political state of affairs is too deeply polarized. The politicians are all opportunists. They cypher as much as they can, Become a ‘Sir’
    Have a fantastic offshore bank account and they’re set for life. A third or fourth party would not take over the full control of the governance of the country, but with seven or nine seats between them, they can control the balance of power and bring back some stability. It would be very interesting to fee how private sector inluences, financial and otherwise will pan out.

  3. jrsmith July 26, 2016 at 5:31 pm

    @, Phil hail, hail , right on the button, to add the Priminister has spoken, he blame the church leaders everyone got a salvo from him… Our black politicians in Barbados and the region has now realize how easy the white man control black people. so many versions of the bible is printed making sure that most black bible whackers have in they homes 4 to 5 bibles. they have 350 plus versions of religions which is never challenge by the white minority who owns the wealth..

    Then comes the big one which is so visible in the (UK) black people are allowed to start churches , every and anywhere except in the upper middle class and wealthy areas of London old ware houses , old factories , parts of old bus garages , old police stations when the question is ask why don’t black people have any real businesses in London they excuse racism, but yes you have a lots of churches and again the excuse god wants it that way…
    This might not fit in with other comments but to make a point where are the social demons and what faith are the people loosing , faith in what or whom…


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